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Natural Capital

Natural Capital

The Earth’s soils, rocks, air, water, plants and animals are all valuable resources that provide a wide range of services and benefits. These resources need to be carefully managed and maintained to support a healthy functioning environment. In this Natural Capital podcast series, hosted by Rachel Smillie and Harry Fisher, we will explore different natural capital assets and their value to Scottish agriculture and the rural economy, including the opportunities and risks for the future.

Hosted by Rachel Smillie and Harry Fisher, produced by Iain Boyd, edited by Ross Mackenzie and Kieron Sim, executive producer Kerry Hammond.


Latest Episode:

In this episode we speak to Co-Director of Forth Rivers Trust, Amelia Heath about the Leven LENs project, the wider work of Forth Rivers Trust, their engagement within the Forth catchment and how they overcome the challenges they face.  Read more >>

Previous Episodes:

Season 2:

It’s a brand-new series of Natural Capital with a brand-new host! To kick things off Harry speaks to Scottish Forestry’s Lyn White, who is their forestry and farming development officer. Lyn promotes an integrated approach to farming and forestry, to aid understanding and explore opportunities for them to work more effectively together. We discuss working with farmers to maximise the benefits to farms, the farmer-led Integrating Trees Network and all things agroforestry. We discuss the multiple benefits that planting trees can bring to agriculture, including providing shelter, improving productivity, diversifying income, creating habitats and combating climate change. Read more >>

In the last episode of this series, we hear from ecological consultant and future host of this podcast, Harry Fisher. We discuss his experience of BNG and how it works, including biodiversity metrics, valuing nature, opportunities for Scotland and what he is looking forward to as the future host of Natural Capital. Read more >>

In this episode of Natural Capital we discuss Scotland's Agri-Environment and Climate Scheme (AECS). AECS is the main mechanism used to support farmers wanting to implement sustainable land management practices such as improving water quality, managing flood risk or mitigating and adapting to climate change. Read more >>

In this episode of Natural Capital, we are talking about the issue that underpins every topic we cover, and that is finance and funding! With the economic and other pressures that landowners are facing it is great to be joined today by Steve Dunkley the Regional Agriculture Director at HSBC, and Martin Hanson the Head of Agriculture for HSBC, to share their view on ‘Green Finance’, what they are experiencing from clients and customers, and share their experience with some ‘Green Finance’ projects they have been involved with.  Read more >>

For our final episode of 2023 we are getting a bit festive and are speaking to Ollie Mackay at Rothiemurchus Estate. We learn about the range of activities and habitats the estate hosts including livestock, farming, beavers and tourism, alongside the pressures and opportunities this creates. Read more >>

We visit the beautiful island of Islay, finding out about the unique habitats, species and important natural capital assets the island supports. The RSPB Islay reserves have internationally important populations of wintering Barnacle and Greenland White-fronted geese, and are also important for breeding Chough, Corncrake, Lapwing and a range of other wildlife.  Read more >>

In this episode of Natural Capital Ross Mackenzie and Janette Sutherland visit Sam Thorburn’s croft on the Isle of Skye. They discuss the natural capital on the islands, Gaelic culture, biodiversity, and crofting life. Read more >>

In this episode of Natural Capital we are getting techy, discussing all things drones, data and technology and how this can be used by land managers to assess, monitor and improve their natural capital assets. Understanding the natural capital you have on your land, its condition and scale is essential to effective land management. Read more >>

We discuss the importance of collaboration, GWCTs ‘Farm Clusters’ approach; what they are and why they have set them up, and their involvement in NatureScot’s Natural Capital Pilot. Natural Capital is central to wildlife management and conservation in Scotland and we discuss the importance of evidence-based best practice, nature-friendly land management and biodiversity net gain. Read more >>

What are the impacts of a National Park status on farming? On this episode we are speaking to Freda and David Scott-Park from Portnellan, an organic farm within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park boundary, to get their views and experiences of farming within a National Park. Read more >>

Understanding the natural capital assets you have on your land is really important. Farm wildlife walks are a great way to map out features, habitats and biodiversity that is present in the agricultural landscape. It can help you baseline your natural capital and look for opportunities for improvement on farm. As part of The Wildlife Trust's 30 Days Wild campaign we go for a walk with Mary-Jane Lawrie on her farm in the Lothian’s and discuss hedges, wetlands and the biodiversity we see, along with the management and tools being used. Read more >>

In this episode, we talk to Dr Jeremy Leggett from Highlands Rewilding, who are aiming to rewild and repopulate the highlands through a business model focusing on enhancing and restoring natural capital. We talk about what the term ‘Rewilding’ means, why and how they measure natural capital on their estates and the innovative technology and techniques they use. We also discuss the exciting plans they have for their newly purchased Tayvallich estate and how their plans for managing the natural capital include the local community and the potential to provide local green jobs. Read more >>

You can listen to all of our previous episodes on Spotify, iTunes, or your preferred podcast app

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